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Further Exploration In Linux Desktop Graphics Beyond Gimp

Date/Time Permalink: 04/21/13 04:43:03 pm
Category: Reviews

Since my last time seeking graphic editing applications that don't stink of Gimp, there's probably a few readers asking "Why didn't Pete mention $Obvious_Choice, was it not good enough?"

Well, yeah, unfortunately I ran into a lot of dead ends. It's like the zombie apocalypse is over and the zombies won out there. Say what you will about the state of desktop computing, Linux computing, FOSS, or graphic design, but graphic design on the Linux desktop is just about DEAD!

Cinepaint - DEAD

Cinepaint's blog hasn't been updated since 2009. Another developer wandered off. There doesn't appear to be a Cinepaint package on the Debian platform, and the Fedora platform has the old package which installs, but cannot work - it can't even open an image file. Rumors abound of somebody or other taking over the project. Cinepaint forums suggest switching to Gimp. Tricorder readings show no signs of life.

Xpaint - a toy

It's a great little drop-in replacement for MS-Paint, that's it.

kolourpaint - a toy

KDE's kool koloring program provides a kompact komposition to be redundant with Xpaint. Again, not good for much more but klowning around.

MyPaint - Promising, but more for true digital painting again.

MyPaint seems to be a perfect program for users who want a lightweight version of Krita. There really doesn't seem to be too much else going on here. I've tried it and it is nice - very basic, but nice.

Google Picasa - DEAD

"Picasa is not currently available for your operating system" - That's what Linux users will see. In fact, Picasa, the desktop application, is being phased out altogether for every platform except as an app for Google+ photo sharing. (Because plain old uploading and displaying a file, once such a basic operation that even 4chan users could do it, is now rocket science that has to be broken down into 500 expensive parts.) Picasa is heading for the Great Google Graveyard of discontinued apps.

Speaking of Google... Sketchup - Awesome, but for 3D architectural drafting.

Remember Sketchup? You can still download and use the freebie version of Google Sketchup 8 from that link, and my suggestion is to get it now from that link while you can. Sketchup has been sold to Trimble, but is still in transition. Trimble seems to have no idea what to do with it. In any case, Google quit making Sketchup back in 2010 at version 8 - bound for the Great Google Graveyard. But the Windows version runs fantastically on my Linux Mint 14 Nadia install of Wine - far, far better than when I reviewed it in '08. Even if you hate it and have no hope for it, you'll want a copy to torrent to your buddies five years down the line when it becomes abandonware.

Obligatory building doodle I just cranked out while writing this, imported from screenshot into Inkscape (Sketchup still can't save a PNG right, don't even try) and edited some:

Speaking of 3D, I might as well update one last program you used to hear about all the time here. POVRay - I'm still vowing one day to rebuild a frontend modeler to POVRay, but in the meantime there is one other soul who still holds out stubborn hope for the POVRay renaissance, this guy with a German site (in English) has updated it this very month, and he has a half-step for a POVRay front-end - a menu of pastable object code hosted in HTML.

Wings3D is also another program I've been trying to nurse along as a replacement 3D modeler. It's actually pretty good, but runs only on my Fedora because my Debian base systems complain about Erlang (Wings' extension language) all fouled up. It's also starting to look like a project in its last gasps.

That's extra sad, because Blender has gone the way of Gimp - insane. I loaded up the latest version of Blender, and discovered - for the thousandth version now - that every single menu, button, command, keyboard shortcut, and function has been rearranged pointlessly AGAIN!!!!!, meaning I would have to sit down AGAIN!!!!! and devote solid, monastic concentration to learning AGAIN!!!!! a completely new Blender interface for a month before I could produce anything with it. This has been going on nonstop for a decade now. Forget it, I have better things to do with my time than waste it with silly games by the sour trolls of the Gimp and Blender teams. Can't WAIT for those two projects to choke off. So sad any other projects have to go.

What else do we have? Inkscape, glorious, perfect, holy Inkscape doing it right, doing it with a mighty righteous rightness that shames the sour trolls by contrast and inspires the weak and struggling by its example.

And what is this Cthulhu curse on Linux desktop graphics editing? Why are they mostly all dying or turning to shit? I'll say one thing - I hope the Bolsheviks are happy. They wanted a world without skills, tools, or engineers, and they're getting one. But at least nobody has to feel excluded by "elitists" any more!

Better we should all starve to death than for any man to think too highly of himself for baking a loaf of bread, right?

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